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Ieva Broberg: Code Institute Student

Please introduce yourself

My name is Ieva Broberg, I’m 28 years old. I’m originally from Lithuania but have been living in London for nearly 10 years now.

Before studying at Code Institute, what did you do?

I have been working in the creative industry as an illustrator, retoucher and graphic designer for almost 7 years.

Personally, what drew you towards Code Institute?

I considered many options before I found Code Institute, I was desperate for a career change so I needed a curriculum that would take me to my goals in the shortest time possible, I also needed to keep my full-time job while studying so physical boot-camps weren’t an option. Also, Code Institute was the only affordable coding program I could find and being able to pay in installments allowed me to start straight away which was very important for me. I also appreciate how much human help and advice I am receiving through the course, whereas other online courses only offer learning material. I never felt alone on this journey and it really helps knowing there is a whole community of real-life students and mentors out there on this journey with me. 

Why did you decide to change your career to Software Development?

I am a very ahead thinking and excessively planning person, so if I was gonna go through something as tough and risky as a career change it had to match with a bunch of criteria. My top points were these, most importantly I had to enjoy what I do, I had to make enough money to support my family, I had to make sure that profession is in demand and I will never again have to be so grocery underappreciated and lastly I wanted my career to have future, I didn’t want to ever feel stuck in a dead-end job. I was looking for opportunities that wouldn’t stray too far from my creative background though because I wanted to have some sort of starting point on the road to my career change, so I decided that web design might be a good option.

I started designing my first website, I made templates, built it all up in photoshop and was pleased with my attempt, in fact, I liked it so much I wanted to see it in action but had no idea where to even start, I spent my entire life thinking that programming was for math geniuses, so never even considered it as an option for myself, but curiosity has gotten the best of me, So, while super sceptical about the whole thing, I watched some YouTube videos and I managed to build my very first HTML, CSS powered website from scratch with absolutely no background knowledge in coding. When I look at that code now, I want to cry, because it’s so bad, but hey, the website was out there and working, so I was proud. More than just that, I was pumped. I made a list of things I wanted to improve and things I needed to learn for that to be done. I started reading online what it took to be a web developer, I realized that front end was closely related to design, in fact, front end developers with a previous design background are sought after, I had a light bulb moment.

What is your current role?

Junior Front End Developer

Now that you’ve started studying, what is a typical workday/study day like for you?

During workdays I work in my day job until 6, then do all the home stuff for a couple of hours and ideally by 8.30-9.00pm I am ready to code. So I do my curriculum for 2-3 hours and then go to sleep (I try not to stay crazy late during workdays as I find that I can learn twice as much in an hour after I rest than through a whole night when I’m exhausted). At the weekends I have more time so I try to leave curriculum behind and write as much code by myself as I can, also this is the time for a deep dive in the things I didn’t quite understand from the curriculum, so I use external recourses for deeper understanding. I try to spend around 6 hours of intensive work on Saturday, 3 hours in the morning and 3 in the evening. On Sunday I try to live life a little and I crack on with coding only in the afternoon – and try to do 3-4 hours. (I repeat this pattern religiously because this way I know I’m on track and that gives me motivation).

Since starting the course, what’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

That anybody can achieve anything if they set up for success. I thought coding wasn’t ever going to be an option for me because I just wasn’t natural. The thing is that while some people are more talented and capable of some things by default, that doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t do it. We just need to put more time and effort in, and it will happen.

How have your studies impacted your life?

Learning to code was an eye-opener for me, not only that it changes my career. Now I feel like so many doors are opening for me. It also introduced me to a whole new world. I started attending coding meetups and workshops, where I met some of the greatest people ever. I realised how open and supportive the coding community is, everybody genuinely wants to help each other, which made me want to share what I learned with other people too. I joined loads of online communities too, basically learning to code was my plan to get a job, but I feel like I have gotten a whole new life with new interests, aspirations, and amazing people.

Do you find that hobbies/activities outside of coding help with your work?

Yes, I think it is crucial to remove myself from the coding problems every now and then to be able to maintain a fresh perspective and come up with creative solutions. 

Knowing what you know now; what piece of advice would you like to give yourself before starting your career change journey?

Don’t ever think too much about it, just do. The more time I spend comparing myself to others, thinking about my background or age the less motivated I feel. But when all the attention and energy is directed to the goal ahead and only that, progress happens madly fast!

If you’d like to share your journey since graduating from Code Institute, get in touch through the form below, we’d love to hear from you. We’re very grateful to Ieva Broberg for her time with this article. If you want to dabble in some code, why not try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge? You can register through the form below. On this challenge, you will learn for free the basics of HTML, CSS and a small bit of JavaScript.